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December Newsletter

From the desk of the Principal

Who can believe that December is already here?  I hope that you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving and got to spend some time with your loved ones.  The children enjoyed the feast we had here and learning about the meaning of Thanksgiving.

Today we look forward to a “North Pole Fun” puppet show from 11:00-12:00.  As we begin to learn about the many holidays and traditions coming up, we invite you to share any family traditions that you may have with us!

We are also looking forward to our Polar Express Pajama Party on 12/18.  Your child can wear their PJ’s to school and if you are able to donate a new pair of pajamas (infant through adult sizes), we are teaming up with Scholastic books to help the less fortunate.  For each pair of pajamas that we collect, they will also send along a book donation to the families in need.

Just a reminder that we are closing at 3:00 on 12/24, and we are also closed for Christmas Day (12/25) and New Year’s Day (1/1/16).  If you could please help us out by letting us know your plans on your child’s classroom door, we would really appreciate it so that we can plan for staffing accordingly.

Please see our vacation policy below if you were interested in using a vacation credit…

(You may email me or grab a Vacation request form from my door to request a vacation credit.)

Each child who is enrolled on a continuous basis is entitled to one free week of vacation per year that he/she is enrolled July thru June. Vacation credits will be eligible initially to new enrollees after the completion of 6 mos. and earned yearly on July 1st provided that your child remains enrolled in the school. Enrollment must be continuous July thru June to be eligible for any vacation credits. If you choose to withdrawal your child for any extended period of time, you will forfeit your eligibility to earn vacation credits. If your child attends on less than a full time basis, the number of vacation credit days equals the number of days per week he/she attends. You may not ‘carry over’ vacation credits from one school year to the next. You may not use vacation credits after you have notified us of the withdrawal of your child from your school. Vacation credit may only be taken in consecutive days and your child may not be in attendance. You may not use as individual days unless special circumstances occur and this will be granted only at the discretion of the principal. Enrollment is continuous throughout the year and it is the guarantee for a reservation for your child. There are no deductions in tuition for absences, illness or the holidays that are observed throughout the year. For specifics regarding holiday schedules and other contractual arrangements regarding absences to school please consult your tuition agreement. All summer vacations must be submitted by June 1st to help manage summer employment vacations and maintain state ratios.


From the Education Department

Exploring Holiday Traditions from Around the World
The holiday season is here, providing a wealth of opportunities to enrich the children’s understanding of diverse cultures and traditions around the world. In addition, our students will share their own traditions with others.
Below are age appropriate activities that we use in the classroom, as well as activities for you and your child to do at home.
BEGINNERS (ages 2-3):
In the classroom: As they near the age of two, children begin to recognize the sights and sounds of holidays celebrated by their family. Parents visit our classrooms to share holiday traditions, including unique books, songs and activities.
At home: Gather family photos and point out traditions, such as unwrapping presents, eating holiday dinner at grandma’s house, and making a snowman. Encourage your child to talk about what he sees in the photos.
Recommended reading: Children Around the World Celebrate Christmas by Christine Tangvald, Happy Hanukkah, Corduroy by Don Freeman, My First Kwanzaa by Karen Katz
In the classroom: Children sing holiday songs from around the world and are introduced to holiday symbols that they may see in their communities, such as Christmas trees or Hanukkah menorahs.
At home: Take a drive with your child or bring him to various holiday festivals in your community. Encourage him to look for and identify holiday decorations.
Recommended reading: Christmas Around the World by Calliope Glass, Hanukkah Hop by Erica Silverman, Li’l Rabbit’s Kwanzaa by Donna Washington
PRE-K/PRE-K2 (ages 4-5)
In the classroom: After learning about holiday traditions around the world, our older preschoolers identify countries on a globe. For example, they might learn about Diwali, the festival of lights, and then find India on the globe. They might make tamales, a dish often served on Christmas, and then find Mexico on the globe.
At home: Ask your child to help you prepare your family’s favorite holiday foods. Talk about the long-standing traditions in which these foods are rooted. For instance, you might explain, “I used to bake cookies for the holidays with my mom. Now we can start baking cookies together!”
Recommended reading: Children Just Like Me: Celebrations by Anabel Kindersley, Light the Lights: A Story about Celebrating Hanukkah and Christmas by Margaret Moorman, The Story of Kwanzaa by Mary Washington
Exposing children to various holiday traditions helps them build strong social skills, establish a sense of self, and respect the differences of others as they transition into elementary school and beyond.
– Lauren Starnes, PhD – Director of Early Childhood Education

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